Ward hits pair late for win
McDaniel rallies to force OT but Ursinus claims win in CC opener
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Jon Ward completed his 23-point outing with a pair of free throws in the final three seconds of the first overtime to break a 61-all deadlock and lift Ursinus to a 63-61 win over McDaniel in the Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball opener for both teams on Tuesday.
Devon Lesniak (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) paced the Green Terror (2-2, 0-1 CC) with his third 20-point game of the season, registering a career-high 23 points – 18 of which came after halftime.
Matt Hilton added 14 points for the Bears (1-2, 1-0 CC), watched a 15-point second half advantage disappear before eventually notching their first win of the season.
Trailing 49-39 with 8:15 to play in regulation, Lesniak hit a pair of free throws to spark an 11-0 run that gave the visitors a one-point advantage with 3:35 showing.
Lesniak contributed the first six points of the burst while Michael Jarboe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) capped the stretch with five of his 11 points.
Two Ward free thows with 2:43 on the clock turned the one-point deficit into a one-point advantage before he hit a layup nearly a minute later to push the lead to three.
A Jarboe triple knotted the game with 1:32 to play, eventually forcing overtime.
Ward and Kevin Henry (Frederick, Md./Bullis) exchanged baskets in the first minute of the five-minute extra session before Hilton and Ward converted on back-to-back possessions for a four-point lead.
Two buckets from Lesniak evened the game with 1:01 to play before two Ward free throws once again gave the hosts a two-point edge.
Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) countered with a second-chance basket in the final 30 seconds but Ward canned his two attempts from the charity stripe for the win.
The Green Terror raced out to a 5-0 lead behind five points from Lesniak in the game's first 2:30.
Tied at 7-all with 12:03 showing, the Bears put together a 22-7 run over the next 9:21 to build a 15-point edge en route to a 29-18 advantage at the break.
The lead remained at 15 with 15:51 to play before McDaniel reeled off 13 of the game's next 18 points to trim the deficit to 42-35 with 11:49 showing.
The Green Terror returns to action at Lebanon Valley on Sunday. Game time is 4 p.m.